Have You Ever Regretted Leaving A Game Early?

Submitted by saveferris on November 12th, 2012 at 8:09 AM

I'm always baffled by fans who walk out of games early when the result is still very much in doubt.  Saturday after the Cats made their first down with a little under 3:30 to play, I started looking around and sure enough I see hordes of folks making for the exits.  After all the miracles Michigan has pulled off over the years, why would you leave when hope still lives?  Granted our odds of winning at that point were less than shitty, but I was pretty certain we'd get the ball back and we'd have a chance to run a play or two and I was going to stick around to see those plays.

Myself, I've only bailed out of one game early because I had to go to dinner with my future in-laws and that game was the 2008 Toledo game, so it proved fortuitous to not be around for the end of that.

So I put it to the masses; anyone want to cop to bailing out of a game early because you were convinced it was over only to miss a glorious finish?  How much of an ass did it make you feel like when you're in your car listening to the finish on the radio and realizing, "I could've been there for that....damnit."



November 12th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

I will admit that I left Saturday when northwestern got the first down with about 3 minutes left. I made it to pioneer to hear a roar, and quickly found a tv to watch the replay of roundtree's catch. I then called my dad to give me play by play until we got back to our car. Just as I was getting in, I heard a roar from the stadium, an told him we just won, before he knew (due to the delay in the broadcast).


November 12th, 2012 at 9:40 AM ^

My seats are front row, section 20 (5 yard line, sw corner). I left when Michigan had the lead, Colorado had the ball in their own territory and there were 8 seconds left. As I stepped into the intersection of Stadium and Main, I heard the roar of the crowd turn into a moan. A guy next to me had a radio/headset and just said he caught it.

That stupid Hail Mary friggin pass....now I get to see it, over and over and over. Classic, but on the wrong end.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:41 AM ^

Nope, but then again I have never left a game early.  I always feel like I owe it to the players to stick it out with them, fan support can have a huge impact in a close game at the end.  In fact I think people leaving early from MSU when they were playing Nebraska was played a role in them losing that game.

When watching on TV though I have probably shut off a game early, although I can't remember any specific game that I regretted.  I almost turned stopped watching the ND game last year and I am SO glad that I stuck it out.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

I do regret not seeing the fumble return against EMU for a TD as my dad and I got up to leave we heard screaming as we were exiting and I stopped at the entrance to the section to see what was happening but by then it was too late. My dad is a dick when it comes to games. He's a typical "beat the traffic" guy. Fuck that shit I stay till its over. As for the 2009 OSU game I had to leave early because of two things. 1 How horrible we were in that game and 2 the sight of seeing Ohio St fans overwhelm the capacity of Michigan fans in the Big House made me want to vomit. It was and still is one of the worst memories of mine during the RR era. I honestly never wanted to hit somebody I didnt know so bad unlike I did that day cause they were beyond obnoxious.

PB-J Time

November 12th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

So I have a story for this. Without looking it up I am fairly confident it was 2005 vs PSU...yes the 1 second game. 

I had extended family in town and seeing them was a big priority. My girlfriend at the time was also going to go with. She hadn't spent time with any of the extended family and had only started to know the parents. So we needed to get out of AA and to Novi/Northville fairly quickly. My family (who went to small colleges) questioned why going to a football game was a priority. My girlfriend left early in the 4th to get ready (yes she was able to watch it on TV). I did stay but time was rolling (not according to Lloyd Carr thank you very much). So I badly needed to leave but (obviously) the game was at a point where one HAD to stay and watch. I was in the teens rows (student sec) and so I made my way up to the exit. I stood with the ushers and a few other fans to watch the last play. I didn't have a great view of it but when I saw the reaction of the fans in the endzone I knew the result. I RAN (literally) the entire way out of the stadium to my gf house to go meet family...most of it yelling in joy. Just to fully paint the picture for you at halftime I had signed up for a credit card with a fake name to get a Michigan Stadium field beach towel. I carried this over my head (the easiest thing to see on this is the block M) in celebration for close to the whole run. 

Cool story bro...I know but I think of it as a fond memory worth telling. This is my very long winded way of saying that (as a student) I never left the game early. I did leave and return to the CMU game (thunderstorm). But I saw the final play every game for 4 years. 


November 12th, 2012 at 9:43 AM ^

2008 Wisconsin, my friend left at halftime down 16-0. Poor bastard. 

In the same game, I had to run down for a piss and the ushers wouldn't let me back in the seats. Had to watch from the TVs at the concession stands. It was that or murder an usher and I wouldn't have been able to see the game if I did that. 

First game Navy 1981

November 12th, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

Season opener, 1995 vs Virginia. M was down by 17 and had never had a comeback in school history that size. Mercury Hayes caught the game winner about 30 feet from where we had been sitting.

I was there with my two older brothers and a brother in law. Was humid and about 100 degrees and my oldest brother started feeling sick, so we left. I haven't left one early ever since.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:04 AM ^

1988 vs Miami (YTM) UM had just scored to go up 10 in the 4th Q and my girlfriend wanted to go because we had a long drive. Ended up listening to the meltdown on the radio.

2007 Oregon- Left in the middle of the 3rd Q. Couldn't handle being surrounded by Oregon fans just having a party in our section.

2009 @ Illinois. After Illinois took the lead n the second half UM was turning the ball over every other down (remember we ended up losing by 25). My drunk buzz was wearing off and in need of immediate attention.

No, I do not regret leaving any of those games early. I stayed for Indiana in 79, 2 late Iowa wins in the 80's, Virginia in 95, WA in 02, Penn State in 05, ND in 09 & 11 and MSU in 12 (among many other late wins).


November 12th, 2012 at 10:09 AM ^

I left the Alamo Bowl before the final pitch and was in the concourse when PITCH IT TO BREASTON took place, because the Nebraska fans was so obnoxious the night before (yes, Nebraska fans) that I didn't want to have to walk back to the hotel area with them (everyone walks to the Alamo Bowl).  And that night they were bad, so I stayed in my hotel room.  Could have been bad, but dodged it.

I watched the final play of McNabb Syracuse from the tv at the concession stand, because I wanted to be in front of the crowd leaving that day...but watched the whole thing there.

And didn't think 2009 EMU would make this list twice, but I left that early because I had a cousin's wedding to go to in Chicago. I was late because it took us a lot longer than I thought to put them away, so I kept staying around till it was pretty much salted.

But didn't actually regret any of those.

Had a couple of Pro ones.  There was a Thanksgiving Day Lions-Browns game that my Uncle drove us too and made us leave early to get back for the family dinner that the Lions came back and won. I didn't really regret it that much, and got a lot of "I told you so's" out of it. And there was a Monday Night Jets-Dolphins game with a big comeback that I shut off because I thought it was over with that I regret not watching (I ended up winning some money off that win, and didn't know till the next morning). Had to miss the Bills-Oilers game in it's entirity, so I didn't leave early. 

But generally no, why would you want to maybe miss a miracle?  The amount of times it's been a complete party atmosphere at Michigan Stadium at the end of the game just the last couple of years makes it worth the potential to stick through a loss.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

Not a big deal, but I left a Spring Training game between the Tigers and Indians in Lakeland in about the 5th inning. The Tigers were down 8-2 maybe, and I had to drive back to West Palm, so I left. My aunt (an Indians fan) called me that evening to ask what I thought of the game. I told her to shut up. She said asked why I was upset, and I replied, "Ha, ha." She then asked me if I had stayed until the end. I told her that I left in the 5th and she laughed and told me that the Tigers came back and won. I checked the box score, and she was right. Luckily, it was just spring training, but I learned a valuable lesson.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:23 AM ^

The only game I've ever left early was 2011 vs Eastern. The game was firmly decided when we left, and I was with a couple of relatives who have trouble with the walk back to the car. We ALMOST left after the first down referred to in the OP, but my God am I glad we stuck around.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:23 AM ^

When YTM scored 17 points in the last 5:23 to beat Michigan 31-30, I had left early to go catch a meal and then go to the EMU game.  IIRC, it was the Charlie Batch era.  Whoever the QB was, EMU was a competitive team that year.  When I made the decision to leave, my rationale was that if anything significant happened, I wasn't going to want to watch it.

As I listened on the radio, I was really, really happy that I wasn't there watching the fourth quarter collapse.  


November 12th, 2012 at 10:24 AM ^

But in my defense I was sick and bleeding from a drunken injury sustained on the way to the stadium. I put the game on promptly after I got home, wasn't giving up on them at all. I earned my fandom endurance badges and sat through The Horror and Toledo, so I think I was warranted one half of sick leave.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

I left the Colorado game with about 5 minutes left in 1994 b/c I had to go to work.  I thought the game was in hand and, more importantly, my boss was a stickler for not being late (and it was an internship I really need on my resume), so I thought I was safe.  Ooops.

Since this was  before cell phones, I walked in the door to see people huddling around a TV and I just saw the very end of the Hail Mary to Westbrook.  I haven't decided if it was better for me not to be there in person and be scarred for life or if it was worse to miss one of the most (in)famous plays in the history of Michigan Stadium. In the end, I just pretend it didn't happen.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:27 AM ^

No. I made the decisons not to leave at a few big games though:

2008 vs Wisconsin - Stuck around even though things looked as shitty as they could

2011 vs Notre Dame - You couldn't have gotten me to leave early. Win or lose I needed to see it with my own two eyes.

2012 vs Michigan State - Brunettes, that is all.


Games I have left early:

2005 vs NIU - Assumed we had it in the bag

2010 vs Wisconsin - Headed to Ashley's after the first half. Couldn't take watching Wisconsin run all over us like we were a high school team. Sort of got worried when we started scoring points but with that D there was no doubt we were toast.

Game I should have left early but didnt:

2009 vs Purdue - Even know it's close...we really aren't going to lose to Purdue are we? Good lord...


November 12th, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

2012 Alabama, I wasn't at the game but I was watching it with some friends and after the first drive I was like 'hey, maybe we can compete.' well that thought didn't last. They changed it to Bridesmaids because I was getting so mad(that game + i got stood up), I never even saw the long play by Gallon. I went into their kitchen and watched the Gardner TD but I turned it off when it was 41-14.

Rough day.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

literally hundreds of people left the game early on Saturday. Its ridiculous that they refuse to watch the last three minutes when we still had a chance of winning. We gave our friends tickets to the App State game at halftime, complete waste.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

Yes. MSU.  I was there by myself, parked on campus, down by too many too late, IMHO.  Incorrectly, of course.  I did make it home to see the last two overtimes.  I have never left early since then.  Except, if we were blowing someone out.  I did sit through Northwestern to the end years ago.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

I left that game mid way thru the 3rd. I just couldn't take it anymore and I knew we were going to lose once all of our TDs were reversed after the long Roundtree run. I absolutely did not regret leaving that game early


November 12th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

after all that has happened at Michigan games this past decade people still leave early.


Reading these posts I'm shocked to learn people leave at halftime.  Whats the f'ing point?


Turn in your man card and fan badge that is ridiculous.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:48 AM ^

The closest I got was Wisconsin in 2008 when we were listening to the game on the radio in the car. We were on vacation in Door County WI, of all places and I turned off the game around halftime to be a good boyfriend spend some non-football time with my now wife. I didn't find out until her sister, who is a WI alum, later texted her to congratulate her.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:49 AM ^

Considered leaving Braylonfest early, strongly considered leaving the UTL game early, urged my friends to leave the NW game this weekend early. 

Ended up staying for all three. I probably will never leave another game early. 


November 12th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

my dad and I left the Palace Brawl game early. The Pistons were getting crushed and my dad is a "beat the traffic" guy when games are blow outs. We were out in the concourse area when we heard the crowd erupt. We ran back to our section but the usher would not let us go back down to our seats. 


November 12th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

I left the 2005 Penn State game at halftime to go study. What a mistake. Not only did I not get to see that classic Henne to Manningham game winner in person, I also didn't get any work done watching the game on TV. In retrospect, I learned a lot that day. Never give up on the Team.


November 12th, 2012 at 11:01 AM ^

We left early and heard the cheers as we walked and knew we made a mistake. Watched the ending on a small television in our van where we parked.

Never again. NEVER.


November 12th, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

I left at halftime.  I went to the bathroom in the 2Q and couldn't get back into the student section the line was so long to get in.  This was even back in the days when the student section was full prior the game.

After about 15 minutes of standing there like a sucker I ran back to my apartment to watch the end on the teevee.  Glad I wasn't there for that, so I do not regret leaving early.



November 12th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

Only time I ever did was 1999 Illinois, when they scored to go up 35-27.  I wasn't thinking straight there.  That score actually helped us (they could have just taken a knee up 28-27) by giving us the ball back but for some reason I was thinking that was the clincher.  I was outside the stadium when I heard cheering.  We drove into their territory and threw an interception but forced the DB into being safetied, so we actually had a chance to win in regulation.  We didn't, but I regretted not seeing the end.  I've stayed to the bitter end ever since.


November 12th, 2012 at 11:11 AM ^

No. Almost left Penn State my freshman year but didn't. My Dad happened to also go to the game and left early much to his chagrin. I called him after, he was pretty bummed.


November 12th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

i was at the infamous colorado kordell stewart to westbrook miracle. my brother was an undergraduate at um, and i was in high school. we watched a dismayed colorado fan seated three seats from us who went from loud and obnoxious to sullen leave at the end of the third quarter. when colorado pulled out the miracle, not only did i feel sick to my stomach, but i also thought about how stupid and shitty that guy must have felt having traveled all the way from colorado and missing an ubelievable and classic (from a colorado fan's perspective) finish.

that moment has kep me in michigan stadium until the end of games no matter what. ironically i was with my brother for braylonfest (this time i was a med student at michigan) and he wanted to leave early when we were down 27-10. he had brought his friend to the game, who had never seen anything other than half empty ucla football games in the rosebowl. i convinced them to stay, using the colorado game from over a decade before as evidence that anything can happen. he owes me big time for that, and i always remind him of it when michigan pulls out the improbable victory like against northwestern this past weekend. 


November 12th, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

I can honestly say I have never left a game early.  It's a shame that I couldn't be at the game last weekend.  It would have been a great one to be in the student section!


November 12th, 2012 at 11:39 AM ^

I left early only twice;  back as as student in '93 at the Illinois game because the friend that was with me had to get back to CMU for work that night and the '08 Northwestern game because the cold rain was very unbearable and since I was leaving in a few days to go visit family for Thanksgiving, I didn't want to be sick for trip.  I left the Illinois game with about five minutes left and the NU game at halftime; needless to ay Michigan was winning when I left both times, and wound up losing each game.  Moral of the story: if I leave early and Michigan is winning, they will not be ahead when the clock says 0:00!

Red is Blue

November 12th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

Cool story bro -- as folks were leaving early a guy a few rows up yells "Don't leave, you're going to miss an great ending."  I think I may sit near The_knowledge.







November 12th, 2012 at 12:13 PM ^

Didn't leave early but sold my ticket to Michigan state for braylonfest...watched it from my dorm with my gf at the time. Still pisses me off to this day and probably will forever


November 12th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

The only Michigan game I haven't watched every 60 minutes of in recent years is the Gator Bowl game vs Mississippi State and I do not regret for a second turning that mess off. I made it into the early 3rd quarter and then just couldn't bare to watch that garbage which is saying something considering I watched every other second of the richrod era

Perkis-Size Me

November 12th, 2012 at 12:19 PM ^

08 Northwestern. Only game I ever left early for. I didn't dress warm enough, and my shoes were soaked. By that token, my feet were numb, and I just couldn't stand standing up anymore. I left just before halftime. I sat in Quickie Burger for an hour letting my feet warm up.


November 12th, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

Never left any sporting event early. Regardless of score you never know when an amazing play or comeback could happen. It's not like I've got anything better to do since I've already planned on staying the whole time anyway. Experiencing 2002 Washington, 2004 MSU, 2005 PSU, 2008 Wisconsin and 2011 ND are worth every 2008 Northwestern or 1998 Syracuse game in between.


November 12th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

I won MSU tickets against Iowa this year. I've never been to EL so I went (wearing maize and blue of course). Me and my buddy, not being a fan of either team, stayed longer(the entire game) than 75% of the fans in that stadium. And it was an OT game. Moral of the story: State fans suck.